Debenhams plans to increase its use of British manufacturers in a move which it claims will bolster domestic production and help revitalise the UK clothing industry.

The department store operator said it will stock more clothing and homeware made exclusively in the UK as part of its new Made by Great Britons label.

Group trading director Suzanne Harlow said: "Speed to market is crucial for us, as our fashion ranges are inspired by the latest catwalk trends. This means we need to turn our designs into production as quickly as possible. 

"It makes sense for us to use manufacturers nearer to home whenever we can, rather than shipping in products from the other side of the world."

Debenhams uses manufacturers all over the world, including the Far East, Asia, Africa and Europe and works with British designers including Julien Macdonald, Henry Holland, Jenny Packham, Matthew Williamson and Jasper Conran.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable also sees potential for the UK textile manufacturing sector to grow. 

"There is a growing momentum behind bringing back substantial parts of the textile industry to the UK. It was an industry that almost died in Britain, although there are some high-quality specialist firms that have survived. 

"I am now picking up that the economics of the industry are changing, and very much welcome the initiatives of the big retailers to start sourcing in the UK where possible," Cable said.